The tragedy of September
11, 2001 clearly illustrated that serious conflict can arise over "cultural differences."
Shortly after this tragic event, 185 nations unanimously adopted the UNESCO
Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity to proclaim that our cultural
differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural diversity
brings a collective strength that can benefit all of humanity. It rejected the
claims that a clash of cultures and civilizations is unavoidable, and stressed
that intercultural dialogue is the best guarantee of a more peaceful, just and
What is culture? A culture is a community's language, arts and literature.
It is also its values system, traditions, beliefs and way of living. Respecting
and protecting culture is a matter of Human Rights. Everyone should be able to
participate in the cultural life of their choice. The Convention on the
protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions was
adopted in October 2005 to outline legal rights and obligations regarding international
cooperation to help protect cultural diversity throughout the world.
Day, officially known as World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and
Development, is an opportunity to help our communities to understand the
value of cultural diversity and learn how to live together in harmony.